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Questions & Answers

How does Text X use language to convey meaning?

This is a very important aspect of reading, comprehending and analyzing any text to the best of your ability. A skill that in turn helps one to perform better on the language component of almost any exam! However, there’s a catch, which is that it is quite a broad topic that can’t be done justice to merely through a brief post (like this one). So, in order to achieve the strongest grip over this skill, do consider setting up a detailed meeting with us!

For now, it is essential to understand that any text (say, Text X or Y) does not use a single device or a limited set of devices to convey its meaning; it’s possible for any writer to choose between the numerous linguistic devices to get his/her point across. Therefore, in order for the reader to comprehend what meaning those devices aim to convey, he/she must develop the understanding of them in the first place. 

There can be several devices that can be employed for different purposes by any writer. For instance:

Tone: Shows the writer’s attitude through certain ways incorporated implicitly within the text, like vocabulary, punctuation, capitalization etc. So, apart from the ideas conveyed directly through the words, the tone passes on indirect or hidden messages to the reader.

Mood: Through similar devices as the tone, the writer can make the reader feel in a certain way as well. For example, through the adoption of dismal and gloomy vocabulary he/she can ensure that the meaning makes the reader feel sad. So, instead of directly mentioning that the point of the text is to make the reader feel for the characters, the writer does the magic through certain subterranean devices!

Allegory: This is one of the most effective and interesting literary devices. It employs a hidden meaning of the clues within the text that, on the surface, mean something completely different. For example, in The Hunger Games the difference in lifestyles between the Capitol and the other districts could be easily taken to refer to something in the fictional world, but in actuality the income inequality shown between the fictional pawns mocks the despicable state that exists in the real world.

Simile: This device makes comparison of the thing at hand with something else in the real world that’s better known to the reading population at large. Some examples could be the following:

To be as white as snow

To be as clever as a fox

To be as light as a feather

To be as dark as the night

Hyperbole: Statements using this device are not meant to be taken literally as they exaggerate something in order to merely emphasize on an aspect. For instance:

I died out of laughter that day!

She’s as old as this world, to say the least!

It cost me a million dollars to reach here!

Some of the other important devices could be metaphors, synecdoche,  alliteration, dramatic irony, syntax, diction, word connotations etc. to ensure that the reader understands the text in a certain way.

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